Election 2020 is nearing and Barbie is entering the race. Mattel just announced the first-ever Campaign Team set to expose girls to public leadership roles and get them interested in helping to shape the future. The new career set includes four diverse dolls with roles, including candidate, campaign manager, fundraiser and voter to show girls the importance of a political team working together to win.
With seven runs for office since 1992, Barbie has a long history of showing girls they can and should be in office. Ahead of the 2020 election, the brand is launching this new doll set alongside a full marketing program aimed at the next generation of leaders by highlighting the importance of voting and taking a stand and showing girls how to run a campaign. The set highlights dolls of different ethnicities, including a Black candidate, to remind all girls they can lead from the polls to the podium.
“Since 1959, Barbie has championed girls and encouraged them to be leaders whether in the classroom, community or someday, of the country,” said Lisa McKnight, SVP and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel. “With less than a third of elected leaders in the U.S. being women, and Black women being even less represented in these positions, we designed the Barbie Campaign Team with a diverse set of dolls to show all girls they can raise their voices. Our goal is to remove barriers to leadership by giving girls the tools to imagine and play out their future roles.”
The brand has teamed up with She Should Run, a non-partisan non-profit that provides guidance and support to women considering a run for office. While we know there are barriers to getting girls in leadership roles, 66% of adults surveyed by She Should Run* observed an increased perception in leadership potential in children who role-play.
With a continued effort on determining how to foster girls’ leadership ambition, Barbie and She Should Run are directly addressing the top barriers to girls’ leadership, which are self-limiting beliefs that are in line with what the brand seeks to address through the Barbie Dream Gap Project.
In addition to being a longtime partner, She Should Run is a recipient of funds from the Barbie Dream Gap Project and has dedicated resources in part to Help Her Lead, a course designed to support young girls, particularly girls of color, in their pathway to political leadership by giving adult role models the resources and guidance to engage and inspire them early in life. To effectively build political leadership ambition, role models can host intentional conversations about why it’s important to lead, demonstrate their own involvement through fundraising or volunteer efforts and role-play leadership activities, like giving a speech.
“With the upcoming elections and the current push for equality and representation, 2020 is an incredible time for us to inspire young women and girls to lead,” said Erin Loos Cutraro, founder and CEO of She Should Run. “Understanding the role we play in empowering our daughters is the first step—we have to have healthy conversations at home and encourage curiosity. By getting them excited today, we’re giving them the confidence to raise their voices and run for office tomorrow.”
Additional educational resources, including play ballots and printable activities, prompts for girls to write their own campaign speeches and more will be available on Barbie.com/CampaignTeam and a new “Ask Barbie” video will be live on the Barbie YouTube channel. The Barbie Campaign Team, sold as a set, is available for $39.99 from major online retailers starting today.
Featured photo: Mattel